Coach Yoo Jeong-min, who is renowned as a high school baseball development expert and leader, is taking on a new challenge as the head coach of the new ‘Aptive BC (U-18)’. Coach Yoo, who said he chose to take on challenges to be happy as a leader, also expressed confidence that he could make his players happier.
Coach Yoo took office as the head coach of the Seoul High School baseball team in 2015 and made a name for himself as a leader on the Ama Baseball stage for nine years.
Coach Yoo produced many professional players, including Baek-ho Kang (KT), Woo-young Jeong (LG), Jae-won Lee (LG), Jae-seok Ahn (Doosan), Byung-hun Lee (Doosan), Jae-hyeon Lee (Samsung), and Seo-hyun Kim (Hanwha). Even in the high school baseball world, where there is still a lot of ‘abuse’ that cleverly avoids the rules, Coach Yoo is considered an amateur coach who represents ‘autonomous baseball’ and ‘managed baseball’.
The most important thing for Coach Yoo is not winning the national championship as his accomplishment, but the career paths of his students and their growth on the professional stage. Over the past four years, Seoul High School has produced many KBO League rookie players.
2021 Rookie Draft Ahn Jae-seok (Doosan) Song Ho-jeong (Hanwha) Geon-hee Jo (LG) Choi Woo-in (Lotte) Kim Jae-joong (NC) Moon Seung-jin (Hanwha) 2022 Rookie Draft Lee Byung-hun (Doosan) Lee Jae-hyun (Samsung) Jo Se-jin (Lotte) Joo Seung-bin (Kiwoom) Moon Jeong-
2023 Rookie Draft Kim Seo-hyun (Hanwha) Lee Jun-seo (LG) Kim Do-wol (KIA)
2024 Rookie Draft Jeon Jun-pyo (Kiwoom) Yeo Dong-gun (Doosan) So Han-bin (Lotte)
Coach Yoo Jeong-min, who achieved such significant training results, recently joined Seoul High School. I submitted my resignation. After completing nine years with Seoul High School, Coach Yoo was appointed as the head coach of the new BC. MK Sports met with coach Yoo Jeong-min in person and heard about his background in taking on a new challenge.
First, I can’t help but talk about leaving Seoul High School, where I stayed for 9 years.
I feel like I experienced all the joys and sorrows of my nine years at Seoul High School (laughs). First of all, I am grateful to Seoul High School because I was given the opportunity to come this far even though I was not a particularly outstanding player or experienced coach during my active years. I tried to apply the baseball style that I personally pursued, and I was happy to see that the result was the growth of my students on the professional stage. I was also very proud of producing Rookie of the Year (Kang Baek-ho, Jung Woo-young) on the professional stage for two years in a row.
The prevailing opinion is that players from Seoul High School are good at playing baseball on the professional stage.
When I first took office at Seoul High School, I kept hearing from people around me that I shouldn’t play high school baseball like that. Still, I think the best thing I did was to follow my beliefs for the past 9 years. At the beginning of my tenure, I made the players grow their hair, which was the first time on the main stage of high school baseball (laughs). Will I be better at baseball if I cut my hair short or if I don’t allow myself to use my cell phone? I think absolutely not.
I am curious about the baseball knowledge I developed at Seoul High School for 9 years. First of all, what do you consider most important in the pitching department?
I definitely try to look at players from the high school stage by focusing more on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Usually, even if the speed is fast, you try to control the ball first. I did not intentionally try to create a pitcher who would not ‘throw the ball’ in order to win the school national championship. Even if the pitching form looked rough, I didn’t make a big deal if I was comfortable with it and could see it as an advantage. Cases like (Lee) Byung-hun and (Kim) Seohyun took that direction.
Even in the beast part, I heard that the direction was to respect each individual’s individuality rather than a standardized teaching method.
What I paid most attention to was trying to create an environment where fielders could play the way they wanted to play. Even in national competitions, if it was a really important situation, I would give instructions to bunt, but if I sensed that the player didn’t want to wait to bunt, I would just give instructions to hit hard. I also emphasized that you should not just hit the swing aiming for an opponent’s mistake. I just told him to swing as hard as he could, even if he struck out every time at bat. (Lee) Jae-hyeon is an example of a person who has grown well in that area.
Jae-Hyeon Lee (Samsung) says that even in the professional field, he was surprised at how his swing improved in his first year.
There may be some coaches who have a negative view on such strong swings, even on the professional stage. Anyway, baseball is played by players. If he continues the swing he wants to do with confidence, I think he has a good chance of success like Jaehyun. Jaehyun is also really stable in defense, and he has respected the defensive style I want to play since he was at school.
As for defense, it feels like he has already solidified his own style on the high school stage.
Usually, in high school baseball, if you make a mistake while making a running throw or playing adventurous defense, you’re in big trouble (laughs). Rather, I continued to request such bold play. High school athletes can grow through mistakes while taking on challenges like that. Just play a stable defense without mistakes to get good results in the national competition? If you develop that habit, you will inevitably have more difficulties handling batted balls at different levels when you get to the professional stage. Players don’t play baseball that way to win in high school. Becoming a really good player on the professional stage is the top priority.
I am also curious about your background in taking over as head coach of the new BC after 9 years with Seoul High School.
Personally, I have experienced many things over the past few years and have felt the limitations of the existing institutional school baseball team environment. As a leader, I began to wonder if I was walking a happy path. In the meantime, a good offer came and after much consideration, I decided to take over as head coach of the new BC. Now that I have made this decision, I feel even more relieved and excited. If the leader is happy, wouldn’t the players be happier as well (laughter)?
What does the new club team name ‘Aptive’ mean?
It is a new word that, when translated directly, means ‘suitable for aptitude.’ It is a word that means ‘providing, contributing to’ and includes various meanings of change through acceptance. Our club team goal is to help each team member reach their full potential and do everything we can to help them succeed. We want to move toward our vision based on responsibility, honesty, passion, and a good heart.
What is the ultimate goal of your club team?
I cannot dare to say that the direction we want to go in is the right answer. It’s not a question of right or wrong. However, in my position as a coach of student athletes, I felt a deep sense of responsibility as someone who had to think the most about the students’ future and suggest solutions. After thinking about various problems in the domestic amateur baseball market for a long time and looking for a breakthrough, I decided to take the difficult path of founding a club team.
Achieving a result that satisfies everyone may be greedy. However, like our team’s goals and vision, our goal is to build a system to help each individual reach their full potential and produce student-athletes with responsibility, honesty, passion, and good hearts.
Can you point out the strengths of Aptive BC that are different from existing high school baseball teams?
First, we provide measurements and data using scientific instruments. We plan to measure each player’s athletic ability by introducing the latest devices such as Driveline and Blast motion analysis device (Rhapsodo) and provide systematic education based on the objective data that results.
It is also a collaboration with the U.S. IMG Academy education system. We plan to adopt the systematic education and training methods of IMG Academy, the most prestigious sports academy in the United States, to suit our country’s reality, while also increasing our international competitiveness by using the facilities and systems through field training in the United States once a year.
We also plan to provide self-directed training through a mobile app. Inspired by the American Major League training method, we plan to provide training plans tailored to each individual’s characteristics through a mobile app so that players can find and receive customized training on their own every day. This training method significantly increases training efficiency by using time and space more efficiently than group training.
Above all, we plan to provide an integrated training system that has not been available in school baseball due to various restrictions. The club team will provide integrated education that has been received separately at school, physical training center, and lesson center, such as school baseball team training, physical training, and technique lessons. We are confident that you can receive unconventional baseball education in a consistent and integrated system.메이저놀이터
I heard that a joining ceremony and founding ceremony will be held soon. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to student athletes or parents who are interested in Aptive BC?
It is true that the path we are taking is not an easy one. It is true that the perception of club teams outside the existing system is not good. Still, if you choose Aptive BC, we will do our best to develop you into a player who can perform well on the professional stage. I will do my duty as a leader so that students can play baseball happily. Thank you (laughter).